Mudcat Café message #2011041 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #100324   Message #2011041
Posted By: Dead Horse
29-Mar-07 - 04:24 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Lowlands Low (Island Lass?)
Subject: RE: Origins: Lowlands Low (Island Lass?)
I suspect the original words to have been "the junk's as salty as Lot's wife's arse" but a more religeous sounding substitute would have been preferable for singing in mixed company, and more importantly, for committing to print.
As said countless times before, there were only a few standard verses for most shanties. The rest would be filled in by the shantyman as he thought of them, hence so many verses transferring from one shanty to another, and so many slight variations in the wording.
Even now, with so many groups performing shanties in folk clubs, wording is even more likely to change to suit the audience. This is not just for sexual content, but also in the interests of the dreaded Politically Correct Brigade who bend over backwards to avoid any reference to colour or creed. In several cases this detracts from the whole flavour of a shanty, turning it into a nice clean respectable folk song, and losing the original robustness of the whole thing.
Such is modern life, eh?